Localities Pick Up the Pace
On the Drive for the HBPA
by Nancy Spannaus
March 6, 2009 (EIRNS)Thanks to sabotage by Wall Street-kept Democratic Party legislators, like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Financial Service Committee chair Barney Frank, the mass suffering and devastation of neighborhoods from home foreclosures, which Lyndon LaRouche sought to prevent back in August 2007, has now reached virtually unprecedented proportions. LaRouche's solution took the form of the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA), which called on Congress to establish a firewall of protection for the banks and homeowners, freezing all foreclosures and mortgages, and recapitalizing the chartered banks, while letting the flim-flam market of mortgage-backed securities and derivatives collapse, as it should.
The HBPA is still the necessary first step of a competent program to reverse the implosion of the financial system and the economy. Rube Goldberg proposals, such as that put forward by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Feb. 18, aren't going to work at all. As LaRouche stressed in his Feb. 11 webcast: "He [the President of the United States] can, with his office, the authority of his office, make a finding, a Presidential finding, and declare that it's the opinion of the Presidency of the United States, that this shebang be put into bankruptcy reorganization, starting with the measures which I proposed as the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2007. That's the only way we're going to get out of this mess."
Yet Congress remains under the thumb of Pelosi and Frank (and associated incompetents). So, an increasing number of political leaders in state legislatures and localities are pulling their copies of the HBPA out of their files, and putting it in the legislative hopper. While the LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC), and especially the LaRouche Youth Movement, is aggressively campaigning for the passage of HBPA resolutions throughout the country, much of the activity is occurring independently of LaRouche PAC, as leaders seek a solution to the deepening crisis.
Within the first two months of 2009. the HBPA has been introduced, or re-introduced, into 12 state legislatures. The New York State Assembly became the first state to pass the resolution (K196), with 40 co-sponsors this year on Feb. 26. It has also been introduced in at least one of the state houses, in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia. While the bills in Indiana and South Dakota have been killed, legislators in other states are gearing up for a fight to pass the only legislation which addresses the breakdown crisis which American citizens now face.
Local Impetus Needed
In 2008, resolutions demanding implementation of the HBPA passed in one or both houses of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Vermont, as well as more than 90 urban centers. Many of those were major cities, including Detroit, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. All of these resolutions called for Congress to implement the key measures of LaRouche's HBPA, and were specifically mandated to be sent to Congressional representatives from the state or localityand in some instances, to the President of the United States.
Yet, under the misleadership of Pelosi, and some of its own corruption, Congress continues to stall on the HBPA issue. The only approach, therefore, as LaRouche emphasized in discussing with Youth Movement leaders Feb. 28, is to mobilize a bigger campaign among Congress's constituents on the state and local level.
A number of cities have passed the HBPA in the course of 2009, including Toledo, Ohio; Albany, New York; and five small cities in southeastern Texas. The Toledo passage occurred after a political fight that was raging over almost a year, with the role of LaRouche right in the middle of the battle. Passage finally occurred on March 3, by a vote of 8 to 3, after the deepening economic and mortgage crisis motivated the council to send a forceful message to Congress in the form of support for the resolution.
Local legislators in some states are actively soliciting support in the form of co-sponsors, as well as from constituency organizations. For example:
- The South Carolina Black Caucus of Municipal Elected Officials officially endorsed the HBPA at its annual meeting in Columbia, S.C. on Feb. 18. The organization is chaired by Councilman Edward Robinson of Florence. There are over 150 councilmen from around the state who are members, and they released a statement to the legislature endorsing HCR 3403, which itself has garnered 13 co-sponsors.
- LaRouche PAC organizer Jerry Jansing of Louisville, Ky. spent March 4 in meetings with senators and representatives in Frankfort. He was urging support for HR 40 in the Kentucky legislature, and also enlisting letters into Congress to get the legislation introduced into Washington. D.C.
Getting Out the Message
On Feb. 4, LaRouche PAC issued an updated version of LaRouche's Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2007, with a new Preamble addressing the consequences of the Congress's failure to move on the HBPA over the last year and a half. The opening section of the bill reads as follows:
WHEREAS, the failure the leadership of the United States Congress to pass the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2007, proposed by Lyndon LaRouche in his July 25, 2007 webcast, has transformed a dire situation from one that could have remained manageable through the Autumn of 2007, into a breakdown crisis of not only the U.S. economy, but of the world economy;
WHEREAS, the Congressional leadership instead chose a course of insulting treatment of state and local legislative and associated bodies within the states, who clamored for the Congress to enact the HBPA, as shown in the HBPA's passage by five state legislatures, and more than 90 city councils across the United States, in addition to hundreds of endorsements by trade union and other constituency leaders individually;
WHEREAS, the repeated attempts approved by Congress to bail out financial institutions with cumulative trillions of taxpayers' and Federal Reserve money, have utterly failed;
WHEREAS, forcing the leadership of the U.S. Congress into more responsible behavior on the HBPA now, is perhaps the only chance to begin to move things in a direction which could lead to saving the United States of America itself from the deepest physical depression in its history....
The resolution then outlines the three principal features of the HBPA, whose full text can be found at www.larouchepub.com and www.larouchepac.com.